A new identity for the Royal Family’s hospital

King Edward VII’s Hospital in London – a private hospital favoured by the Queen and the Royal Family – is rolling out a new identity created by Offthetopofmyhead.

Patients at the Marylebone hospital have included the Queen herself, who had knee surgery there in 2003, Prince Philip and the Duchess of Cambridge.

The hospital was founded in 1899, initially to treat wounded officers returning from the Boer War.

Offthetopofmyhead was appointed in September after a three-way credentials pitch and tasked with creating a new identity for the hospital to support a new marketing and fundraising strategy.

Offthetopofmyhead founder and creative director John Spencer says the hospital wanted to “breathe fresh air” into its identity “without upsetting it”. He adds: “King Edward VII’s cipher has been the hospital’s logo for around 100 years. It’s a massively valuable asset because no one else can use it and its graphic individuality distinguishes it from all its competitors.”

He adds: “The old logo looked tired and was difficult to use… The cipher had been redrawn many times and had lost its form and become illegible.” Spencer says there were also “many representations” of the cipher used around the hospital – “some of them are old and some more recent – and they’re all very different.”

Spencer worked with typographer Alan Meeks to create a new logo and headline typeface for the hospital. The typeface is called Agnes Sans and takes its name from one of the hospital’s co-founders Agnes Keyser. Spencer says the new two-colour logo is inspired by a Coronation mug from 1902.

The identity is supported by a supergraphics created from the cipher, which can be used on their own or alongside photography.

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